Suu Kyi interview lands magazine in trouble

A news journal that published a scoop interview with opposition icon Aung San Suu Kyi in a supplement section with a full-page photo of her has been suspended from publishing the supplement section for a week by the Ministry of Information’s Press Scrutiny and Registration Division (PSRD) (known as the censor board.)

An editor of Messenger News Journal told DVB they were notified by the censor board yesterday morning about the suspension for violating new press regulations that were recently adopted;

“We have been suspended from publishing the supplement section for violating press regulations laid by the PSRD,” said the editor.

The interview was her first in the domestic press, and signals the persistence of sensitivity over the popular Nobel laureate’s role in the country, despite meeting with President Thein Sein and signs of a warming of relations between the government and her National League for Democracy party.

The new press regulations under which the Messenger was punished were added recently as amendments on 1962 Publishers and Printers Registration Law after many news journals had photos of Suu Kyi on their front pages when she was released from house arrest in November last year.

The editor said: “The PSRD has its rules and regulations and we do abide by them but sometimes, although we don’t hold an intention to deliberately violate these regulations, we have to do things accordingly with time and situation and the PSRD may see it us violating their regulations.”

Messanger News Journal is run by Zaw Min Aye son of former army captain Tin Aye who is now the chairman of Union Election Commission.

The supplement was published through a fast track censorship system where by instead of the week long process certain sections with breaking news can be submitted the night before.

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